Fashion trends are moving faster than ever. The clothes that are mass-produced also become more affordable, thus attracting consumers to buy more. More styles mean more purchases, and that leads to more waste created. As a result, there are growing dumping grounds for mass produced clothing that is unsold or discarded. Estimates vary, but one report puts the global industry at $1.2 trillion, with more than $250 billion spent in the U.S. alone. In 2014, the average household spent an average $1,786 on apparel and related services. This shows us that there is a lot of clothing being thrown out only after a few months or years.
According to a 2019 UN report, global clothing production doubled between 2000 and 2014, and the industry is “responsible for 20 percent of total water waste on a global level”. To make a single pair of jeans requires 2,000 gallons of water. Whether the clothing piles are left out in the open or buried underground, they pollute the environment, releasing pollutants into the air or underground water channels. The picture above shows a clothing dumping ground that takes an estimated 59,000 tons of discarded clothing annually.
Clothing, either synthetic or treated with chemicals, can take hundreds of years to biodegrade and is as toxic as discarded tyres or plastic materials.
The positive news is that consumers are driving change. Europe and US cities like San Francisco have set goals to eliminate clothing waste. Opok has a recycle program where you can send Opok back their clothing to recycle. You might never have to use this program as our clothing lasts for years and is built to withstand all types of beatings. But it's here just in case.
Organic clothing and non synthetic materials are much better for the environment and are made with much more care and quality - meaning organic clothes from Opok will last much longer than other brands. We hope that the future of fashion is focused on sustainability and eliminating waste. In the meantime, check out Opok’s top organic sellers.